I Would Like to (Actually) Blog Daily

I mean…this blog is called DAILY Moves and Grooves, is it not?

Here’s the thing: I have not blogged consistently for the past two years thanks to grad school. I am deterred from blogging because I feel like I need to have perfectly-themed and cohesive content in every post, and that takes TIME. But maybe that’s not entirely necessary…

I believe in the power of creativity, whatever that may be, as an outlet; it can be a tool for both personal growth and for fostering social connection. I also don’t want to let this hobby of mine die, not now at least. I’ve got less than a year until full-time, real-world work, baby, so I’m gonna soak up this time.

So how about some shorter posts? Posts with snippets of potentially relatable content that help you and I start a conversation, casual or deep. Or for you to just feel like you’re not alone. Or for me to process my life. All of the above?

I’ll try it out.

(Unfortunately, there will likely be limited to no photos in posts to come because ya girl has very little media storage space left. But perhaps take this as a break from image overload that you get on Instagram and Facebook anyway.)


Moves: If you watched my day in the life vlog from yesterday, you might have picked up on the fact that I was supposed to run a half marathon this past Sunday but decided it was in my best interest to NOT run it due to a (self-diagnosed) stress fracture in my femur. I’m walking, but running is not a happy time. I’ve been focusing on low impact workouts lately, and that’s just what I did yesterday.

20 minutes (5 rounds, 30 sec on, 10 sec off):

  • KB sumo deadlifts (50#)
  • modified v-ups
  • push-up to renegade row (15# DBs)
  • plank ➔ step to stand ➔ deadlift (15# DBs)
  • tabletop sit throughs
  • mountain climbers

I do not actually know if I have a stress fracture, but I will get it checked out ASAP because it’s been over 2 weeks now, and it hasn’t really made much progress. No worse, but no better either. (So…do not take this workout as something I would necessarily recommend based on the diagnosis of a stress fracture; this just felt good yesterday.)

Crying out of nowhere. I’ve been going through waves of feeling like I’m great and then feeling totally ashamed of all the crappy things I do in my life. Very clearly in my heart when I was feeling the latter yesterday (I was packing my backpack or something mundane like that), I felt like God was saying, “Hey, stop that. Stop. I love you.” And I started crying out of nowhere. I didn’t want to cry because I had just put on makeup, so tears were extremely inconvenient, but when the Spirit moves, He moves.

Hibachi. I had a date at a hibachi restaurant last night, and I think my sodium levels skyrocketed so much that I must have been borderline hypertensive. They squirt soy sauce on everything as if it’s the water that will put out the little onion volcano fire. I also couldn’t catch whatever the chef threw at my mouth. But it was fun and the company was lovely!

Family. I realize that I should call my family more often (hiiii, mom and pop and Ben).

Day off. Due to schedule shuffling thanks to the Monday holiday, I actually do not have classes today either! That just means catching up on all the things I should have done earlier this weekend.

Have a great Tuesday! Happy feast day of St. Teresa of Avila ♥︎

So tell me:

What do you think of this format of blog posting? Yay? Nay?

When was the last time you cried out of nowhere?

Have you ever gone to a hibachi restaurant? Do you like the food?

What did you do this weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIAW: Fine, I Love Almond Butter

Hi!

I’m typing this on Tuesday night as I often do, so I don’t know if I’m currently chipper as a spring bunny or if I’m a zombie right now. Probably the latter. My moves yesterday consisted of 3.5 hours of ballet since I decided to sleep through class last week. It hadn’t danced ballet for that long straight through since the Orlando Summer Ballet Intensive two years ago. It’s a good thing I love ballet!

For this week’s WIAW, I’m just going to focus on one food that I’ve been eating A LOT recently: almond butter. (I’m actually so excited. Any excuse to talk about nut butter is a good one to me!)

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With the queen of food parties and adorable things, Jenn!

You see, when I first started becoming obsessed with nut butter (thanks to healthy living blogs— I’m such a conformist), I stuck to fan-girling over the classic peanut butter. I then ventured into the land of sunflower seed butter, which is now one of my favorite things ever. I even made my own cashew butter once, but that didn’t hold my fancy for long.

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Greek yogurt with banana slices, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, a pumpkin muffin top/scone, and almond butter

I had eaten almond butter in the past, but that was when I was still eating spoonfuls of sugary Peter Pan peanut butter (which is still awesome), so plain, unsalted almond butter was kinda gross to my typical middle schooler palate. Plus, what the heck was that weird grainy texture from the almond skin?

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Cookie dough cereal with banana, chia, hemp, and pepita sunseeed butter

Thus, I stayed away from almond butter for a good while. I was perfectly content with my roasted peanut butter goodness (I made the switch from Peter Pan to the kind with just peanuts). Other than that, change was never my strong suit.

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Overnight oats in a coconut peanut butter jar

Then I started seeing bloggers such as Amanda eating almond butter on the daily, Julianna bringing spoonfuls of it from her dorm to the dining hall (GENIUS. I’m gonna be that person in college.), and just everyone gushing over this peanut butter imposter convenient and healthy food.

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Hot oatmeal with mangoes, banana, and sunflower seed butter

So I decided one day at Trader Joe’s: I’m gonna take the leap of faith and try almond butter again. I tried it. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, so I tried to “get rid of it” by using a big half cup of the stuff in these granola bars.

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Greek yogurt with banana slices, banana muffin, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepita sunseed butter

But my dad loves almond butter, so he would eat a lot of it with muffins and toast, which prompted me to keep buying more for him.

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Oatmeal cookie dough smoothie (which has a big spoonful of almond butter in it!) blended with spinach + Greek yogurt for dipping

The more I bought it for him, the more I started to add it to my toast and bananas…But it was still the “inferior” nut butter. I always secretly wished I was having another nut butter instead of that one.

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Self-explanatory

Then one night, I needed a quick, satisfying snack before bed, so I grabbed a spoonful of almond butter. “Hm, this is really good.”

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Greek yogurt with the works + almond butter

That spoonful of almond butter has become a very regular snack for me lately, and now I can’t seem to keep my spoon out of the jar.  Almond butter has also found its way onto many a muffin…

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Banana muffin with almond butter

Now, I’m hooked. I ♥ almond butter.

Not as much as peanut butter, but it’s up there now. I’ve talked about it before, but I think it’s amazing how much my taste buds have changed in the past two years. Could be growing up, could be food blogs, probably both.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

So tell me:

Do you like almond butter? What is your favorite way to eat it?

What is your all-time favorite nut butter?

How have your taste buds changed in the past few years?

Brother-Sister Rivalry

Hello and Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend has been the closest taste of summer yet, which I guess is often true once Memorial Day swings around. The community pools open, the air fills with BBQ smoke, and the Hugh Jass (stole that from Kath) bumble bees start harassing me. A lot of marvelous things have been happening in the past few days including some moves, a Frozen movie date, treats, and a trip to Boston!

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All marvelous things, yes? Thanks for hosting as always, Katie!

 

Here are the highlights:

Friday

1) Finished the AP Bio exam and keep myself from jumping up and down like a maniac.

2) Went to the gym for some moves:

5 min. arc trainer, then 3 sets of each:

  • 10 pistols each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 1 min. wall sit + 30 side jump lunges (my glutes were sore for two days AGAIN)
  • 20 hamstring ball roll-ins + 20 single leg bridge pulses

I was gonna do abs, so I started to do some exercises, but then I stopped because I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

3) Ate my new favorite dessert:

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Vanilla bean ice cream with fresh mangoes

You’re welcome.

Saturday

1) Baked the best banana muffins (from Two Peas and Their Pod) I’ve ever had:

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Fresh out of the oven with almond butter— this is what dreams are made of.

2) Went grocery shopping for two bunches of bananas, two tubs of 2% Greek yogurt, and two containers of hummus. It was like Noah’s Ark on that checkout conveyor belt.

3) Attended a super late lunch/early dinner with the other religious education teachers and volunteers, courtesy of our pastor who is retiring this year!

4) Worked on handstands. I’m starting to hover more with that freestanding handstand! I’ve caught the Crossfit Games bug. (You can yell at me for the fact that I’ve never done Crossfit in my life.)

5) Watched Frozen with one of my best friends, Daliza! Now I understand the hype for that movie— Anna is my hero and if Olaf were real, he’d be my best friend. Daliza and I are also working on our duets for some of the songs, so you better watch out for our voices in Frozen 2.

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Sunday

1) Drove up to Boston to visit Ben!

2) Disowned him for wearing this shirt:

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No.

Northeastern and Boston University sibling rivalry has commenced.

3) Ate a delicious sushi lunch at Avana Sushi:

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4) Bought some BU gear and put on my (mouse-like) game face:

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5) Walked to J.P. Licks for some awesome ice cream. Ben and I shared a scoop of mint cookies and cream (uh, two favorite flavors in one) and a pistachio scoop. Perfection:

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Wait, why did I share my ice cream with this kid again?

6) Took a lovely, long stroll along the Charles River. The weather was absolutely PERFECT on Sunday, even though it was supposed to rain according the forecast. The sun was out, there were almost no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right (even though I think I did overdress with my jeans and long sleeve shirt). Can we please just pause the weather so that it can be like this forever?

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Aww cute bro + sis picture…

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k bye.

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It really hasn’t sunk in that this will be my home for the next four years. I’m excited though!!

Now I’m off to go exercise outside on this warm, sunny Memorial Day, and then we’re gonna dig into my mom’s grilled feast! Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Three fun things you did this weekend!

What are you Americans doing for Memorial Day?

Have you ever watched Frozen?

50 Shades of Fit

Hi!

I don’t know what was going on in my brain last night, but I was OUT OF IT.

1) I could not remember the ballet barre combinations for my life.

2) I forgot to turn on my car headlights at 8 PM. I didn’t realize until I got to my destination. (My town is very well-lit at night, don’t worry.)

3) I did some other questionable things concerning driving and my car….But I won’t get into those details.

I got home in one piece and I didn’t hurt anyone else, so praise God for that. I also ate this awesome salad (among other things) for dinner:

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I know it doesn’t look like much, but I finally made use of the tahini sitting in our fridge in a homemade dressing! I just combined about 1 tsp. tahini, 1 tsp. yuzu (Japanese lime soy sauce, essentially), a squeeze of honey, and a squirt of water to thin it out. That stuff was goooooood. It was a little too much for the amount of spinach I had here, so I just added more spinach. 🙂 I want to add it to a soba noodle salad or something like that next time!

Anyway, here are my recent moves:

Monday: 5 min stair master + lower body supersets [10 pistols each leg + 20 Bulgarian split squats//20 hamstring ball curls + 20 single leg bridge pulses each leg] + 8 min ab tabata [4 rounds of reverse crunches, spiderman plank, and spiderman kick through right and left]

Tuesday: ballet!

50 Shades of Fit

The amazing Julianna @ Julianna Banana tagged me in the 50 Shades of Fit Featured Blogger Series started by the also amazing Kaila @ The Healthy Helper! You can read Kaila’s awesome introduction post about the movement here, but this is an excerpt of what 50 Shades of Fit is all about:

There truly are (more than!) 50 shades of fit and as long as you’re incorporating fitness into your life in a healthy way for the right reasons, then you’re doing it right! Too often I see people ridiculing other for ‘not lifting’, eating certain food groups (or not eating certain food groups!), and or for not being as physically capable as other are. But this is not fair!

Fitness doesn’t have an end point. It isn’t a mountain that you can get to the top of. It’s a continuum that  we’ll all be on for the rest of our lives and no one place on it is better than any other. Instead of criticizing, judging, or ridiculing others based on where they are, we should be lifting each other up, encouraging each other, and congratulating each other for making choices to stay healthy, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

So take a moment to appreciate where you are on your own fitness journey and try to remain positive and tolerant of where other people are on theirs. There’s room for all of us in this world.

– See more at: http://healthyhelperblog.com/2014/02/23/50-shades-fit/#sthash.LW0rFgQy.dpuf

Her words hit the nail on the head, and I couldn’t be more excited to participate in the survey questions that come with being tagged! So let’s get started:

Currently, what does “fit” mean in your life?

  • Being able to move and groove every day (ahem, blog name), whether that means doing an actual workout or taking active study breaks every 20 minutes.
  • Embracing rest.
  • Feeling strong and energetic during my every day activities.

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When did you initially get more interested in incorporating health and fitness into your lifestyle?

When I was younger, I figure skated competitively, and I always loved to do pilates, yoga, and workout DVDs with my mom (I’ve memorized the lines of certain workout DVDs…). I was never into sports because my hand-eye coordination from 1-10 is about a 3, but I still loved to stay active.

I’ll be honest and say that my interest health and fitness rekindled a couple years ago for vanity reasons, and that unfortunately turned into disordered eating habits. However, in the past year or so, health and fitness have become less about a nice figure and more about feeling happier, moving with greater ease, and treating my body with respect. Now I believe that I have truly become interested in health and fitness.

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What are some of your favorite ways to get moving?

As Julianna said, there are SO many ways to get moving— it’s difficult to choose just a few! Some of my favorites include dance, circuit workouts (especially with burpees), yoga, Pilates, walking, and hiking.

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Some activities that I still want to try include long distance runs (yes, running), a mud run/obstacle course, CrossFit, BodyPump, and and hot yoga! We’re talking long term goals here.

In what ways do you inspire and encourage others to add some sort of fitness into their lives? + What advice would you give someone who is just starting their fitness journey and exploring what works for them?

I can only hope that through this blog (and my off-blog geeky-ness about the benefits of staying active) I am able to inspire others to just move more. Anything is better than nothing, and starting small is the way to go. My daily workout used to be 15 minutes on the elliptical, and that was fine. As I started to push myself more and get out of my comfort zone, I realized that I enjoyed so many different things. A couple years ago, I never thought I could run a sub-8 mile, do 100 burpees in a row, lift heavy things, or even do a proper pushup, but with time (and sweat), those things happened. Believe me, if I could do it, YOU can do it.

Most importantly though, have FUN when you workout! Please?

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{2012}

Thanks to Kaila for starting this rockin’ movement and to Julianna for tagging me!

Three people I tag to share their “shades of fit”:

Ashley @ Miles on Oats

Leigha @ Minou Girl

Jessica @ Story of a Girl

…and just…EVERYONE!

Hope you all have a wonderful Wendesday!

So tell me:

Have you ever tried tahini (not in hummus) before?

What does “fit” mean to you?

What are your favorite ways to get moving?

 

 

I Have Awesome Friends

It’s official.

I, Alison, can live off of Greek yogurt. I had it in every meal and snack (except lunch) yesterday, and I wasn’t even trying.

Breakfast:

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Finishing off one container with bananas, chia, hemp, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple banana muffin, and pb

Snack:

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With bananas, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, and almond butter

Dinner was another one of these awesome tacos, which I topped with Greek yogurt again. Dessert was dried figs and Greek yogurt (duh).

If I am what I eat, I should be turning into a bowl of white, tangy, high-protein yogurt any day now. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wearing bananas and nut butter too.

Moves

Yesterday’s moves consisted of a ten minute incline walk (hello, burning shins and calves) followed by some lower body exercises. The usual:

  • 12-10-10 pistol squats each leg (those 12….oof) + 20 Bulgarian split squats each leg
  • 20 hamstring ball roll ins + 20 light and slow KB swings
  • wall sit
  • 20 lunge pulses each leg

Then Julie’s 8-minute ab workout— that thing never fails to make my core burn.

Moving on to the reason for the title of this post…

My friend, Veronica, said yesterday, “I have awesome friends.” Of course, I’ve always felt the same way about all my friends from school, dance, blogging, and family connections. But her simple statement, and the sincerity with which she said it, was enough to make me think about how grateful I am for such awesome friends all day yesterday.

True story: When I was in kindergarten, my family moved from California to Kansas in the middle of the school year, and I had to make new friends in this place that people back in LA thought was in the middle of nowhere (let’s face it— everyone thinks Kansas is in the middle of nowhere). 5-year-old me wanted to do what every other girl did, so I would follow this “popular” group of girls and copy what they did. But then they told me to stop following and copying them, so I went to the swings by myself. Womp womp.

Then came elementary school, where life was full of drama over boys, note-passing, and who’s-friends-with-who. I would still try to please different groups of friends and act a certain way. The same sorta happened in middle school, except in 8th grade, I thought I was hot stuff because we got to go on a field trip to Washington DC for three days. Ooooooo. (It was actually so fun though.)

High school is when I started to shift friend groups and really learn to embrace originality. This year especially, I have learned to not care about what others think of me, whether I go to a party or not, whether I talk about food on a daily basis on the internet (hi!), or whether I’m considered a nerd/goody-goody/try-hard.

Part of the reason I think I feel so comfortable in my skin is because I have such loving, considerate, and understanding friends.

They don’t judge me. (eh, sometimes they do, but only jokingly…I think) 😉

They make me laugh until I cry, which I had never experienced until this year.

We can all have civilized conversations about our very different opinions on social issues and religion.

They are always waiting for me at the end of class, since I’m a snail when it comes to packing up my stuff.

They are polite, but not too polite, because that would be boring.

They brighten my mornings.

My friends are the peanut butter to my jelly. <— That’s saying A LOT.

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[source]

It is such a blessing to have a family outside of my blood-relatives, because I know how hard it can be to find the “right” people.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

So tell me:

Which food could you probably live off of?

Finish the sentence: My friends are the _______ to my ________.